If you’re a sex addict, you’re dealing with an escalating, obsessive preoccupation with sexual fantasy and behaviors. As a result, you’ve damaged your romantic relationships, career, education, friendships, finances, and other life priorities. Most likely, you use the intensity of sexual fantasy and behaviors to escape (to avoid feeling) emotional discomfort – stress, anxiety, loneliness, depression, shame, boredom, etc.
If you are wondering if you are sexually addicted, ask yourself the following three questions:
- Are you obsessively preoccupied with sex?
- Have you tried and failed to cut back or quit your involvement with porn, hookup apps, strip clubs, prostitution, affairs, or similar behaviors?
- Are you experiencing negative consequences related to your out-of-control sex life?
If you answered yes to these questions, it’s likely you are sexually addicted. If you are still not sure, I suggest you take this anonymous 25-question sex and porn addiction screening test.
What Sex Addiction Looks Like
Sex addicts spend hours, sometimes even days, in an emotionally elevated state of sexual fantasy and pursuit. This state is sometimes referred to as the bubble or the trance. It is this, rather than actually engaging in sex, that provides the escapist ‘high’ of sex addiction. In fact, being sexual to the point of orgasm actually ends the high, pushing the addict back into the stress, anxiety, and other forms of emotional discomfort that triggered the addiction in the first place.
Sex addicts typically feel a tremendous amount of shame about their sex life. As such, they keep most of their sexual behaviors secret, even from the people who matter most. They keep their sexual activity compartmentalized in this way to hide it and protect it, and to stop themselves from drowning in shame. This is exhausting and depressing, and it leads to social and emotional isolation, diminished self-esteem, and numerous other psychological and emotional issues.
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If you or someone you care about is struggling with sex or porn addiction, help is available. For sex addicts, Seeking Integrity offers a low-cost online workgroup series. Click HERE for information. We offer a similar workgroup series for porn addicts. Click HERE for information.